Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cold Water Miracle! --- week 66, 64 weeks in Phoenix Mission,16 weeks in Glendale

Cold Water Miracle! --- week 66, 64 weeks in Phoenix Mission,16 weeks in Glendale

Dear friends and family, 

It was such a wonderful week. We were able to baptize Elaine and Aaron, two people my good friend Elder Claypool taught in Vegas before they moved to Phoenix. The baptism was nothing short of a miracle. Let me tell you, Satan did not want them to be baptized and confirmed! But the Lord made it happen.  Anyway, here was my week! I'll talk more about the baptism shortly.--OH! And our neighbors got their wifi back so we have Internet again! Hallelujah! 

Monday: Pday. We didn't have wifi so we emailed and played some sports at the church. It was a normal pday. Nothing too exciting. We went on exchanges that night so Elaine and Aaron could be interviewed by Elder Rodriguez. So I went with Elder Clough in Solano. Sometimes it's hard to stay awake when you don't know the language at all...haha! Elaine and Aaron passed their interview so all is good!
Temp: 77 F

Tuesday: I forgot to write in my journal so I don't remember much about Tuesday... We did have a great lesson with Christine, our recent convert who has a terminal illness. She isn't very old; maybe 40. Her spirit is so sweet. She knows she doesn't have much longer on this earth, but she is using her time to the fullest. She has been researching family names to have taken to the temple. She just finished the Book of Mormon all the way through. She has a bedrock testimony of the gospel, and it's always a pleasure going to visit Christine. Later that night we visited some people and had a lesson with a guy and his son. It was pretty good! We didn't have much time so we said we'd come back the next day. 

Wednesday: It was a super good day. We had three really solid lessons in the afternoon. One with an investigator where we read 1 Nephi 8 in the Book of Mormon. This guy, Bill, has been investigating for a few months now so we've been reading with him. He really likes the Book of Mormon, he just lacks the true conversion. It'll come, though. We have faith! He's such a good guy! We then met with Jamie, the eight-year-old we've been teaching. She is super sharp! She is very excited to be baptized, and her dad wants to get worthy to baptize her, so that's super cool! After dinner we went out with Brother Barton to visit Gary and his son. When we got there, his (ex?)wife, Allison, was there too! She was totally on board as we answered their questions about Joseph Smith and shared the message of the Restoration with them. Gary is a very analytical thinker, so he automatically questions every point in religion. Brother Barton is an attorney, so he's super good at talking to people and talking them through situations. He challenged Gary and Allison to read and pray about the Book of Mormon together and to set a baptismal date in faith. They accepted when we extended December 5th as a baptismal date for them. They agreed to experiment on Moroni's promise in Mornini10:3-5 in the Book of Mormon. It was one of the most powerful lessons I've ever been a part of on my mission.
Temp:67 F

Family and friends, the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. These changes I have been seeing in people for over 15 months is no mere coincidence. The Lord cares about His people. It is never too late for anyone to receive His grace and mercy. Whether you're a member of the Church or not, His arms are always outstretched. 

Thursday: We volunteered at Goodwill from 9-12. It was pretty fun; we were basically free employees for three hours, but we had a great time! Afterward we did a district lunch across the street at Panda Express. It was super good!!!!! I don't remember liking it that much! I'm super excited to go home and have one in Joplin! :) After service and lunch Elder Thaut wasn't feeling well so we stayed in and I studied while he slept it off. Later we had dinner and a lesson with Frank, a recent convert. He's the man! They're the ones with the chihuahua named Sammy. I sent a picture holding her last week. I chased her around their living room while we waited for the bishop to come to Frank's. After dinner we visited a referral named Lashay. We got in and taught them a short lesson and got a return appointment! She was really interested in the missionary program. It really catches peoples' eyes seeing two young guys devoting two years of their lives to the ministry at such a young age. 
Temp: 75 F

Friday: We weekly planned and had district meeting. I led a discussion on accountability. It went alright. After the meeting we had a great lesson with Cesar. He really opened up to us about how grateful he is that we take time to visit him every week. Man, I love Cesar! Then we had a great lesson with Mike, a recent convert, and his girlfriend, Cindy. Cindy is interested in the Church, but is very active in hers. We read out of 2 Nephi 2 and shared the first half of the Plan of Salvation. She is definitely coming along. :)
Temp: 79 F

Saturday: BAPTISM!!! Elaine and Aaron were baptized into the Lord's Church at 6:30pm. It was a very stressful afternoon leading up to the baptism, though. We started filling the baptismal font, and after 30 minutes the water was still ice cold. We had no idea what to do. We had tried all we know how to do. We saw a brother in the building and asked if he knew how to fix the problem, and he called a member of the stake presidency and he came by and reset the water heater settings. The water then got warm! The baptism started a little late because of the cold water scare, but it still happened and it was glorious. The Spirit was so strong. I was able to baptize Elaine, and Elder Thaut baptized her son, Aaron. Their smiles and good spirits were tangible. It was a day I'll never forget!!
Temp: 77 F

Sunday: Elaine and Aaron were confirmed during sacrament meeting. None of the microphones were working, so we had to project our voices! It was the first time I confirmed someone. I confirmed Elaine, and E. Thaut confirmed Aaron. After church we ate and studied. Elder Thaut wasn't feeling well, and I didn't want to stay in again, so Elder Clough stayed with Thaut and I went with Elder Rodriguez to the Spanish ward for the night. We went to their ward choir practice, which was pretty fun. I didn't understand any of the words, but it was good. 
Temp: 67 F

So that was my week! I hope you all had a great one too. Love you all. I appreciate all of your prayers and support for me and all of the other missionaries serving around the world. 

Much love,

Elder Jones
Black Canyon Ward
Arizona Phoenix Mission

Elaine and Aaron's baptism

cool sunset

Dinner at Culvers

The district after volunteering at Goodwill!

 The "Dirty South" District... Standing: Elders Thaut, Ockey,
Clough.. Sitting: Elders Dwigans, Jones, Rodriguez.

weekly selfie!

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